We’ve had a big weekend. Our first time to take Carina beyond Plymouth Sound. We’d paid our berthing fees at Plymouth Yacht Haven until May 5th and decided to move elsewhere, mainly to give me an easier commute to work. Our choices were both in Tor Bay – Brixham and Torquay. Brixham was fully booked up and had no room for us, but luckily Torquay Marina had a berth available for the next two months – to coincide with me finishing out my contract at Exeter University. Julian’s dad, Barry, joined us for the big move and he, Julian and the girls spent Friday on the boat getting ready for the trip. I joined them on Friday night after work.
We had hoped to set out early on Saturday morning and, if possible, make it all the way to Torquay by nightfall. But things never go to plan, and it was 11.30 before we finally slipped out of our berth in Plymouth. The weather wasn’t great. The unusual east and north east winds of the past couple of weeks continued, and it’s blooming cold for May! We had hoped to sail, but alas, the sails are still not ready for use, and on Friday night Julian discovered some new problems with the genoa and the mainsail, but try as he might on Saturday morning, he couldn’t fix them. So we had to motor the whole way. Thankfully, our new engine is pretty smooth and quiet, but nothing like the silence and delight of sailing.
My entire life I’ve only been mildly seasick once – until now!! Uh-oh!! Don’t despair, I’m not giving up on the sailing life straight away. I have a pretty nasty head cold at the moment and I’m all muscosy and gunky and that contributed to me feeling pretty nasty for a lot of the journey. To add to it, it was a big old trip for our first time out – the body needs a few days to gradually adjust.
The girls were generally great, until after lunch when they both became very grouchy, but then very quickly fell fast asleep. We placed them on the berths in the saloon, with the sea boards in, and they slept soundly for the whole afternoon, wrapped up snug, and rocked nicely by the motion of the boat. But then we had to make a decision. The sea was reasonably rough and Torquay was still a good four hours away. So we stopped in at Salcombe for the night.
Once we had run the gauntlet of what seemed like every single dinghy in Devon tacking back and forth at breakneck speed on the entry to Salcombe we came to the calm waters of the Kingsbridge Estuary, where the kind harbour master showed us to a mooring buoy. It was only 4.30 and we’d travelled for five hours, so we were keen to stretch our legs. We called the water taxi and were soon in the beautiful town, with its gorgeous shops, cafes and pubs. We chose the lovely Victoria Inn for a drink and dinner, as we were won over by its big garden with a play area, hens and budgies!! Lily found a friend to play with and they played hide and seek and tag until Lily got tired and cranky. Unfortunately I was feeling a lot worse by now, so didn’t get to enjoy a yummy dinner with everyone else. I just sat and watched…and felt sorry for myself, jumping up to dash to the loo every few minutes. Unpleasant to say the least.
Back aboard Carina I quickly snuggled down to sleep with the girls and woke up early on Sunday morning feeling much better. We set off at 8am, motoring along the south Devon coast, staying a good two miles off shore to avoid the worst of the choppy waves. But we couldn’t avoid them completely, and we were more than happy to find ourselves in the quiet waters of Tor Bay five hours later with Torquay in sight. Once again the girls enjoyed long naps!!
Torquay Marina is quite different to Plymouth Yacht Haven. It’s much more upmarket for one thing and well, you know…we’re down market sort of people!! However, it’s bang slap in the middle of one of England’s busiest seaside towns, so it should be lots of fun for the girls and Julian over the next two months. While Julian and his dad went back to Plymouth to collect our car, the girls and I went for a stroll and I treated them (and me) to icecream. The girls loved looking around and commenting on all the new things. Lily’s first impression of Torquay: ‘There are lots of dogs’.
We got back to Dawlish last last evening and now have three more days before leave our flat and move aboard. We’d found a buyer for our car, which is a big weight lifted off our shoulders, especially because parking at Torquay is £10 a day, so getting rid of the car sooner rather than later is preferable.
I’m off to Dartmoor tomorrow for two days. Looking forward to walks and a soak in a hot tub – oh and lots of intellectual thinking as it is supposed to be a ‘research retreat’!
PS…Hello Martha Main’s mum!!!